Coplanar-waveguide, forward-directional couplers are proposed for applications involving optoelectronic switching and combining of picosecond voltage pulses. The forward-coupling design is particularly attractive for use with ultrashort voltage pulses, because crossover occurs over a single pass through the device rather than during the multiple passes that occur in more conventional, backward, stripline couplers. Short voltage pulses can be optically generated and subsequently switched in the coupler. Previous experiments1 using microstrip couplers showed promising results. Aside from allowing total accessibility for optical pulses (Fig. 1), coplanar-waveguide devices are found to exhibit greater bandwidths and lower losses than do microstrip devices. This present work concerns the analysis of picosecond, electrical-pulse propagation through these structures.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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